The Kraken Snores by Tanya Landman

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The Kraken Snores by Tanya Landman

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Magda Healey
Reviewed by Magda Healey
Summary: A jolly adventure with a strong dose of Greek mythology and a lot of humour is suitable for confident readers from about 8 years old, but probably a bit superficial for anybody above. It has sea monsters, gods, a flying horse and kraken poo filling English Channel: borrow, and you might be tempted to read another story about William and Zeus.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 160 Date: May 2008
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
ISBN: 978-1406307061

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The Kraken is falling asleep and is travelling all the way from Bermuda triangle to snooze under the British Isles. The trouble is, his snoring might sink Britain - and the rest of Europe too! Zeus, still trapped in the body of a (featherless) swan, needs help. They have to wake the monster up: William Popidopolis has another chance to save the world.

Tanya Landman's jolly tale takes the reader on a fast moving (once the initial muddle of memory-loss in Brighton is left behind) adventure from Mount Olympus to Scylla & Charybdis infested waters of Sicily, French canals to a final clash with The Kraken near Dover.

There is a lot of humour reminiscent of Harry Potter (including the English Channel filled with Kraken poo and various boy-girl cracks) that would appeal to many children, probably more boys than girls. The plot is fast and engaging, and with 150 pages of fairly large type and several entertaining line drawings, The Kraken Snores should make an enjoyable read for children moving on from their first graded readers towards real novels.

There are several challenging words in the book (yearning, commiserated, silhouetted), but most can be worked out in context and confident readers from about 8 years old should be able to enjoy it without too many stumbles.

The world of Greek mythology plays an important part in the novel, and children who know anything about the Olympians and other magical creatures would be able to enjoy their appearances, while others might learn something (and need an adult help in working out who is who and why).

The characters are not particularly developed, and there is no hint of any moral or emotional complications, as it's all pure action, but William is both endearing and funny in his reluctant hero role and the whole roller-coaster ride is pure fun, ideal for slightly more advanced confident readers.

The Kraken Snores is a the second novel featuring William Popidopolis and Zeus and I suspect they would be better read in a sequence, but by no means have to be.


Girls might prefer magical adventures of Katrina Picket in Waking Merlin by Tanya Landman. For more mythology, this time it's Finnish, try The Winter Place by Alexander Yates.

The review copy was sent to the Bookbag by the publisher - thank you!

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